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Days 72-74: Exams and Awesome Roommates

Yes, you read that correctly. Awesome roommateS. As in more than one.

But first things first. My final exams are finished! Wednesday and Thursday I had my final exams.

The Wednesday started with a 80 min essay writing exam. Before our midterms I had asked my teacher how much we were supposed to write. Our exam paper is four pages long, and he said that usually people write three pages and he had never received more than four pages. Naturally, I took it as a challenge.

So during the midterms, I wrote as fast as I could, but although I filled out my four pages, I was still three lines short to break the barrier and I was writing form the moment I sat down until the teacher took my exam paper.

Well this time, for finals, I succeeded. Halfway through the exam I could already see that I would be short of space so I raise one hand as my hand is still writing. After a while the teacher sees me and comes down.

“Can I have another paper?” I ask, still writing as I speak.

He is about to walk away, then it seems to dawn on him and he takes a second take. “Wait, you want a second paper?”

“Yes, I am a page short,” I reply.

I filled out every single line and had three lines more on the other paper. I feel pretty proud. And I think I did decently. There are deffimitely mistakes (bound to be when there is no time to read through the paper) but I’m pretty sure I’ll get a decent grade anyways.

Next was my grammar test. It felt a lot easier than my midterms, and even than the revision paper we had been given as homework last week. I understood everything and I had very few questions where I hesitated, so I am expecting a good grade on that.

Last was my reading test. Same as with the grammar test. I finished 30 minutes early. But I have always been right that you shouldn’t leave a test early because if you do something else for a while and then read through again, ou might see something that you didn’t notice the first time. I only had four questions where I hesitated so again I’m expecting good scores.

​After the exams I went out with five other classmates to buy Korean Pizza that we took back to the dormitory and ate there. Korean pizza is slightly different than what I think pizza is. usually there are a lot of toppings and a lot of strange ones. The one at the front here has a potato wedge on each slice. Others are more normal with meat and sweetcorn and green pepper and such things (no pineapple).

I’ve really got some great classmates this time around and we got along pretty early on, so that’s lucky too.

After pizza we went home to study for the exam the following day. Obviously, my afternoon and evening was mainly spent fooling around with my roommate and laughing. Our evenings are always filled with laughter.

Thursday morning started with a listening test. I think I did well on that too. The only difficult part was the last conversation, about our competitive society and how to deal with it. The conversation was okay, but the questions had a lot of difficult phrases and I was hesitating with two questions. My teacher collected the papers two minutes early, and she was not willing to compromise and give us te allotted time. So I had to pick my answers quickly. But I didn’t hesitate with other questions so I shall still be fine.

The Speaking test didn't go amazingly, but I think I definitely passed. I was quite nervous, because I suddenly remembered how poorly I did last time. So my voice started shaking a bit, but it's okay. Despite thinking that i did poorly last time, my speaking test was still my highest score.

So as for my predicted scores:

Essay: 75%

Grammar: 78.6%

Reading: 80.5%

Listening: 80%

Speaking: 78%

Now we shall wait and see...

Again, it’s 4am and I can’t sleep. I don’t know why I don’t sleep lately. Maybe my body knows that it’s going back to Europe soon and is getting all confused about when it should be awake and when it should sleep. Maybe it’s something else. But on the good side of things it gives me time to write my blog so I shall not complain.

So let me tell you about yesterday. I finished my exams. I finished my oral exam before my roommate so I went to Dunkin Donuts and bought her a Donut. For the midterms our roles were switched and she bought me donuts as a reward.

I knew that my roommate had prepared something for me. Something big for my birthday. And she had told me that since my Friday was likely going to be busy she would do it all on Thursday. So Thursday I was not allowed to go outside Thursday apart from going to school and back.

I went with the flow of things. I wondered what it could be. She had been planning it for weeks and I knew she hadn’t been planning it alone. She refused to tell me who the other person was though. So for once, I was pretty clueless.

I had some ideas as to what it could be, but they all seemed pretty far out and impossible.

So after our exams we waited in our room. My roommate said that there was a specific time when we were to head out. So we waited. As ever while laughing and joking and me coming up with ridiculous options to what it could be.

Then there was a knock on the door.

My roommate smiled and gestured for me to go and open the door.

Outside, were a bunch of pink balloons and a huge poop balloon. I knew immediately what was going on. Poop shaped things always make me think about one person, and one person only.

My old roommate from six years ago.

​Weeks ago, when my current roommate, first showed signs of planning something, my first guess was that it was with my old roommate that she was planning something. But they both worked together and put me on other tracks. Then after my exam yesterday, I got a text from my old roommate, asking me if I did well. But the timing was so perfect, it was suspicious.

However, I knew that my roommate had been hard at work putting up concerts until a few days ago and she had gotten sick too so she couldn’t possibly have come to South Korea.

Yet, there, outside my door, was a huge poop ballon, and behind it my dear old roommate.

I couldn’t believe my eyes. I kept staring as I hugged her and invited her inside. This was the first time that my two roommates met each other too.

K Unnie (my old roommate used to always feature my blogs as Unnie, so to keep confusions away I shall call her Unnie here too), was as great as ever. You could see that we had both grown up since I visited her in Hong Kong five years ago, but we were still bickering and talking back and forth like an old married couple and exactly as we used to do. Still laughing about poop shapes and old memories as well as new ones.

For the past six years we have kept in touch on an almost daily basis. So I know that the last artist she catered for was still in HK Monday and that she got sick after that, and yet still she came.

​The three of us, 7 (me) and her two roommates, headed our for fried chicken burgers (yes that’s a thing and it’s awesome). We were sitting at the place and talking for ages. It felt like the old and new days were blending together and it was awesome.

The best thing of it all was that my two roommates got to meet. And as expected they liked each other and got along well.

These past few months while living with my current roommate (I’ll call her tiger from now on) I’ve often thought about Unnie. Tiger is the same age that I was when I first came to Korea. She came here with a similar feeling and goal. And often watching her reminds me of myself from back then, and I find myself teaching her things that I learnt from Unnie. I find myself acting like Unnie once did and I see Tiger pulling the same expressions I once did. It’s different and yet it’s similar. The atmosphere certainly is similar and much the same.

And now, as then, I am the one leaving first and my roommate will stay behind and complain to me that her next roommate is not as awesome as me (because how could they be - it takes talent to make someone unable to sleep until 2 am because they’re laughing so hard). Unnie and I are perfect roommates, and Tiger and I are perfect roommate too. When it comes to roommates, my fate is good at picking the right people.

The three of us meeting up was like a gathering of the three musketeers. I think we all understand each other a lot better now. I had this secret dream of introducing the two to each other, and it came true. I had a feeling that they would like each other.

So last week, when Unnie was working on a KARD concert, I saw that the two of them were messaging about it because Tiger is a fan, and it was so nice to see. I didn’t expect to get to see them meet in person though, but I am so lucky that I did.

After burgers and a long talk we headed to Hongdae because Unnie had a place she wanted to go to.

​None other than the Kakao Friends Museum, and before you start thinking about statues and centuries old paintings and art, nope it is not that sort of museum.

Kakao is a messenger app. There are two popular ones in Korea, Kakao Talk and Line. Both apps have their own set of cute characters used as emojis and emoticons. And both have stores all around Seoul selling merchandise with these characters on them.

Well there is also a museum, which in korea, means a bunch of photo opportunity rooms built around the characters.

So we went there and went around and took photos and then we headed back to Ewha and were talking and laughing in our room.

Then Unnie left to buy a few things, and Tiger and I watched a show while devouring a pack of strawberries that I had bought earlier.

Another good day.

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